Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Step Back

Photo: Ten Gossip

In an election otherwise full of great triumphs, the gay rights movement suffered a stunning defeat. California voters approved Proposition 8, putting a ban on same-sex marriages that overrides a recent court decision legalizing them, and throwing into doubt the unions of about 18,000 same-sex couples who wed during the last 4 1/2 months. The measure's most fervent proponents believed that nothing less than the future of traditional families was at stake, while opponents believed that they were fighting for the fundamental right of gay people to be treated equally under the law.

I just don't get it. In my opinion, Prop 8 isn't about "restoring" or "protecting" marriage. If that were the case, there wouldn't be such things as divorces or second, third and fourth marriages. Hate-mongers and the righteously confused continue to think that the "gay agenda" is to indoctrinate and recruit. There is only one subject on their minds when they mull over this misguided fear, and it certainly is not marriage. It's not the idea of love, family or companionship either. It's sex. Why do (most) people want to get married? To spend the rest of their life with someone they love. What makes 2 men or 2 women wanting this different from a man and a woman who do? In my eyes, what the passing of Prop 8 does preach is the tolerance of discrimination. Love cannot be legislated and discrimination should not be written into the Constitution of the State of California.

How can a country take such a huge leap forward in equality and yet step back from it at the same time? Thoughts?

Raul posted an entry on this topic as well. Please read it here.

UPDATE: Read Melissa Etheridge's thoughts here on The Daily Beast.

11 comments:

Melissa said...

I read a lot of my Morman friends' friends' blogs - a lot of them from Cali - and I am appalled at how narrow-minded they are. I am shocked that they feel families will fall apart if gay couples are allowed to marry. They want to save the sanctity of marriage, yet there are millions of marriages between men and women that are unhealthy. Shouldn't they be looking within?

Andrew Snaith said...

From what I have heard it was worded really badly too, eg if you supported it it you actually had to vote no and vice versa, or something silly like that.

Raul (hummingbird604) said...

Thanks for this, Jen - great post. I too am appalled - as you say, this is misguided fear, and a step forward and a leap back at the same time...

Keira-Anne said...

Great post here, Jen. I also found it quite shocking that Prop 8 was passed. I believe that to ban marriage between two men or two women is a direct violation of their basic and fundamental rights.

Marriage, by defintion, is a union between two things whether they are objects or people. Tradition in history dictated that this meant between man and woman, but that simply is not the case in today's society.

There are those that argue that the "holy act of marriage" is being tainted by homosexuals. If that is true, then are not the women who cheat on their husbands or men who neglect their wives also tainting the "holy act of marriage"? In my eyes, this is blatant discrimination.

I can only hope that the approval of Prop 8 is brought to appeal. This is simply not acceptable in 2008.

Kat said...

Definitely a step back...I can't believe it in this day and age.

Tawcan said...

There are actually 3 states that voted on banning gay marriage, one of them is Arizona, the other one I can't remember.

For me it's quite shocking to hear that CA passed such bill, considering CA is one of the most open minded states.

It's certainly a step back. Maybe Americans can only step forward one step at a time...

Jennifer Stoddart said...

@tawcan- You're right. Same-sex marriage bans were passed in Florida and Arizona, in addition to California. Also on Tuesday, the Arkansas electorate passed a measure meant to prohibit gay men and lesbians from adopting children.

I find this completely unbelievable.

Tawcan said...

Wow I didn't know about the adopting bill. How can you say gay men and lesbians will not be good parents? I'm sure most of them will be better parents than say Britney Spears and Kevin F. There are so many babies out there as a result of "accidents." You can consider teenage pregnancy, one night stand, etc etc. Instead of having an abortion, some of these babies come to this world without any loves from their parents once so ever. They will grow up in harsh environment most likely. What justifies these irresponsible "moms & dads" raising babies than say having loving gay men & lesbians adopting these babies and letting them growing up in a loving family? I think many ppl will argue that raising kids up in a homosexual environment will turn them gay. As far as I'm concerned, that's just a bunch of BS.

A post on this topic is coming...

Jennifer Stoddart said...

@tawcan- I completely agree. The idea of same sex couples not being able to adopt is absolutely ridiculous. The reality is that families come in all shapes and sizes. Families are much more diverse than the 'one mom, one dad, 2.5 children' model. A loving home is a loving home- and that's what every child deserves.

I could not be 'taught' to be a heterosexual and no one can be 'taught' to be a homosexual. You can be told about the existence of both, but unless you actually have the feelings, you can never be 'taught' to be one or the other. I can't help but wonder how it is that there are people who don't seem to know this. The ignorance just blows me away. To quote Ellen DeGeneres "I was raised by heterosexuals. Heterosexuals everywhere I looked. They didn't influence me!"

Looking forward to your upcoming post.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

I can't believe prop 8 passed, they can come to canada and get married here legally!!

Regimbal said...

I'm "a gay" and I plan on dressing up extra fruity for this years pride parade to show just how angry I am.

Hissssssssssssssss.